By JOHN McBRYDE
A Franklin-based wine and spirits distributor is introducing Middle Tennessee to a premium tequila made in the town of Valle de Guadalupe in the Highlands region of Jalisco, Mexico.
Vikera Tequila, a 100 percent Agave Azul-made tequila named to honor the spirit and determination of the region’s lady vikings who make it and the generation who came before them, is being distributed to 33 counties in Middle Tennessee by the women-owned Harvest Beverage Company. The owners of the boutique distributor, Carrie Drury and April Wideman, are introducing the product to retailers and restaurants across the region, according to a press release. Tequila expert Heidi Anderson is representing the brand as its sales representative in the field.
“I was first attracted to the Vikera label because of the platform they provide for women and other marginalized groups to feel empowered in the wine and spirits industry, but then I recognized the quality of the tequilas,” Drury said. “These are extraordinarily smooth and complex, and meant to be savored. Their oxygenation process, longer barrel aging and earthy notes that are distinct to that Jalisco Highlands region produce a flavor profile that is unlike anything I’ve tasted in the U.S. market.”
The Vinos y Locores Azteca Distillery, which makes the tequila, is dedicated to carrying on the mission of providing women with the opportunity to build a steady career in the art of crafting premium tequila.
Vinos y Locores Azteca Master Distiller Melly Barajas said that Vikera is not just tequila, but the result of dreams and immense dedication to the craft.
“These women put a piece of their heart and soul into every drop,” he said.
Drury, whose father, Ralph Drury, started Harvest Beverage Company 10 years ago, said sales of Vikera have taken off since product reached the distributor Monday. She took over operation of the company as her father’s failing health limited his ability to run it.
“We’ve had a banner week,” she said of the brisk sales of Vikera. “We’ve delivered to a lot of accounts, and just anticipate it going only up from here with it. We’re really excited about it.
“It’s the first tequila we’ve added to our portfolio. It will be a big boost for us.”
In 2018 alone, Vikera was honored with Gold in the Global Spirits Awards, Double Gold in the World Spirits Awards, and Silver in the New York International Spirits Competition. Tequila Aficionado named Vikera a Gold-level “Brand of Promise.” The four varietals — Blanco, Añejo, Reposado and Extra Añejo are hand-crafted and aged in American white oak barrels, which complements the flavor profile.
The Extra Añejo is the proudest achievement, aged for seven years and offering an extraordinarily oaky flavor similar to a fine bourbon, with a creamy texture and smooth taste with hints of vanilla and caramel. As one of the longest-aged Extra Añejo tequilas on the market, it is similar to a wine brand with a vintage attached to indicate premium quality.